During a time when so many things are being forced to stop, one thing does not have to: your Invisalign treatment! You can keep moving forward through the teeth straightening process with your aligners while you are social distancing and staying-at-home under orders. In fact, you might be able to do it more effectively!
If you are currently undergoing Invisalign treatment, you can view this unusual time as an opportunity to make some serious progress in your orthodontic movements. Just think: You are not able to go out to dinner with friends, so now you do not have to worry about discreetly removing and inserting aligners. You are never far from your own bathroom with your mouthwash, toothbrush and floss, so you’ll always be able to take great care of your teeth. The sound and picture quality of most webcams is low-res enough that you can leave your aligners in for important meetings.
Tips for Making Invisalign Progress While Under Mandatory Stay-at-Home Orders
Why not use this time to be hyper-vigilant with your aligners so you come out of quarantine with a beautiful, straight smile?
Just Wear the Aligners All the Time
Seriously. Wear them as often as possible. You can leave them in to eat and clean them off later. Some studies suggest that the forces of chewing actually helps to move the teeth faster. The only time you should not leave them in is when you drink high sugar or acidic beverages. Do not leave them in for happy hour(s). But otherwise, the more you keep the aligners on your teeth, the faster the teeth will move.
Whiten While You Straighten
If you have syringes of teeth whitening gel, you can use your aligners to apply the gel to the teeth. You are wearing the aligners all the time anyway, so you might as well put whitening gel in them. If you do not have any gel, you can call the office to purchase some, or you can buy a (slightly less effective) over-the-counter gel.
Keep the Aligners and Cases Clean
Being in and out of your mouth constantly, aligners are never “disinfected”. However, if they only touch the inside of your mouth and the inside of the case, then you should have no fears about any coronavirus contamination. Throw the cases in the upper rack of your dishwasher if they have been potentially contaminated.
As you may be required to wear an aligner for longer than two weeks, you might notice it looking stained or dingy. You can clean and disinfect the aligners by soaking them in a 1:10 diluted bleach solution and then thoroughly rinsing them in cold water.
Remember to never use hot water on your aligners, as they will warp or distort with any heart!
Keep Your Teeth Clean!
We know that many people are experiencing changes to their daily routines that may make bedtime and its accompanying rituals a relatively fluid concept. This means it will be tempting to stay up drinking wine and watching Tiger King without any thought for your aligners or . . . what’s that other stuff we use? . . . Floss? Yeah. Floss.
Make every effort not to slip into the bad habit of falling asleep on the couch without brushing, flossing and inserting your aligners. Try to stick to a consistent regimen of oral hygiene that will maintain your dental health during this time when you cannot receive any preventive dental care.
Never ever ever go to bed without flossing, especially if you are wearing aligners. Flossing removes dangerous plaque between the teeth. Aligners actually increase the risk for cavities by blocking the teeth from the essential cavity-fighting power of saliva. The last thing you want to do is put your aligners over a bunch of plaque and trap it in place all night.
Did You Lose or Break an Aligner?
It is important to maintain the position of your teeth in the event that you lose or break your current aligner. You must revert to your most recent prior trays and wear them full time. If you do not, your teeth will drift and move.
Many people mistakenly assume that if they stop wearing the aligners, the teeth will just relapse back to their pre-treatment position. This is NOT always the case. The teeth may drift into a different position, making continued treatment with your current aligners impossible. They just will not fit. If they do not fit, they will not move the teeth as prescribed.
It is essential that you wear a recent set of aligners full time and notify us of any lost or broken aligners.
More Questions about Invisalign during Lockdown?
Our website is full of great information about Invisalign. Follow any of these links to learn more.
Designer Smiles Invisalign Page
Will Invisalign Work for Me?
Invisalign for Teens
Not All Invisalign Treatments are Created Equal